Local News

Church used to giving needs help

Posted April 24, 2011 11:36 a.m. EDT
Updated April 24, 2011 7:20 p.m. EDT

— A Sanford church which regularly feeds the hungry found itself needing aid this Easter after the violent storms that raked the state April 16 left the sanctuary damaged.

Christian Faith Ministries, at 3110 Cameron Drive, sustained about $100,000 in damage in the storms, Pastor Donald Kivett said.

Kivett planned to lead Easter services in a temporary location Sunday – across town in the former Cabinet Depot warehouse at 2611 Lee Ave.

Church members said that although their Easter services were a bit unusual this year, they are still rejoicing.

"Even though this devastation has happened, it's a miracle that a lot of lives were spared," said church member Debbie Harris. "We were not going to let anything stop us from worshiping on this special day.'

Sanford suffered some of the heaviest damage in the state when more than two dozen tornadoes and a series of severe thunderstorms blew through central North Carolina at wind speeds topping 100 mph. Twenty-four people died statewide in the storms, and thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed.

At Christian Faith Ministries, the air-conditioning system was ripped away, a tree fell into the building, the steeple was blown off and the roof damaged, Kivett said.

"This is probably the toughest week I've had since I've been in ministry," Kivett said. "(But) we're extremely blessed and I thank God we survived it and I thank God for the opportunity to rebuild."

The outreach to storm victims did not stop for the holiday Sunday.

Red Cross volunteers were going door-to-door in storm-damaged areas to connect people with assistance and to provide meals, water and supplies like rakes and shovels.

FEMA offices are open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice, including Easter Sunday. The agency is also available by phone at 1-800-621-3362 or online.

View FEMA offices in a larger map